I love the movie ‘Sliding Doors’ with G. Paltrow.
In the story we see how one event, had it gone slightly differently would have had a significantly different outcome. If Gwenneth makes the train, this happens and if she misses the train because the sliding door closes the second before she gets to it, another outcome.
We might all be able to identify a time in our own lives where this scenario is apropos. A chance meeting that lead to the start of a career, or a flat tyre that introduced your future spouse to you?
I met a girl in a bar in the middle of the day once – that lead me to ten years of sobriety!
We moved in together after a short while and found we had two things greatly in common. We both knew a lot about everything and we drank all the time.
Several years went by and she had convinced me to go to AA to try and save my life, liver and sanity. Well there wasn’t much left of the sanity and liver, but I did go to prove her wrong.
This isn’t a story about a miraculous recovery and to espouse the great work of the Fellowship. This is the story of stubbornness, refusal, and self-centred denial.
“At that time I had two problems only — alcoholism and ‘everything else’.”
I eventually got sober two and a half years later. Two and a half years later the liver was worse than any liver my aged doctor had ever witnessed. Two and half years later the girl was gone. Two and a half years later my mind was nearly gone completely when I walked back into a meeting and saw the concept of acceptance as if for the first time.
They say that “..acceptance is the key to all my problems”. At that time I had two problems only — alcoholism and ‘everything else’.
The revolving door had let me exit a world of self-consumption and enter the world of self-acceptance. Another way I would see it is leaving a hell realm and being re-born in a precious human life.
The ‘way’ to heaven has been spoken by sages and prophets in all traditions and overall time. In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray for “as it is in heaven”. Well, I feel that heaven and hell can be very real on Earth too and for some who have experienced the end of addiction, if there is a hell worse than that, it’s not a place we want to visit soon.
And Heaven can be, at least for the time being, here and now in the relief of bondage of self — and freedom from the revolving door of escape and retribution — the repeated cycle of despair and self-destruction.